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Falck, Oliver; Heblich, Stephan and Link, Susanne (2011): The evils of forced migration: Do integration policies alleviate migrants’ economic situations? IZA Discussion Papers / Forschungsinstitut für Zukunft und Arbeit, Bonn,

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Armed conflicts, natural disasters and infrastructure projects continue to force millions into migration. This is especially true for developing countries. After World War II, about 8 million ethnic Germans experienced a similar situation when forced to leave their homelands and settle within the new borders of West Germany. Subsequently, a law was introduced to foster their labor market integration. We evaluate the success of this law using unique retrospective individual-level panel data. We find that the law improved expellees’ overall situation but failed to restore their pre-war occupation status. This holds implications for the design of integration policies today.

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